We just love it when a business or brand makes an earnest, well-meaning attempt at social media engagement and it just tanks miserably.
Today, that company is Fukushima Industries, which is already suffering from image problems thanks to brand confusion with the nuclear plant of the same name (for the record, the two are unrelated).
The Osaka-based company debuted a new mascot today: An egg-shaped Pokemon knock-off named “Fukuppy,” described as curious and kind with a “strong sense of justice,” reports Newser.
Fukuppy’s picture went viral on Twitter, where it was mocked as a PR stunt for the disaster-plagued Fukushima Prefecture.
Somethings struggle to translate – Fukuppy, Fukushima Industries new mascot, is branding disaster https://t.co/RuRcxAUMPS
— Deena Ingham (@DeenaI) October 15, 2013
— Alex Ruiz (@alex_ruiz) October 15, 2013
Um, okay.. To alleviate fear of the ongoing nuclear issue at Fukushima they’ve released “Fukuppy” https://t.co/HafdrvqpPA
— Andrew Girdwood (@AndrewGirdwood) October 15, 2013
— Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) October 15, 2013
INTERNET, I AM DISAPPOINT. IT IS AN EGG WITH WINGS meant to reassure you that radiation isn’t a problem. ITS NAME IS FUKUPPY.
— Cryptina Ban-Xu (@xuhulk) October 13, 2013
A lot of fail for a refrigerator company, no?
A company spokeswoman called the viral mishap a huge “misunderstanding,” and said that there are aggressive plans to correct any misinterpretations about Fukuppy and his motives.